The business world can be challenging to maneuver. You have an awesome product, so now you have to acquire and retain customers; which is like crossing a minefield because each client has different expectations and personalities to handle. Since so many businesses are contending for sales, the tiniest mistake can capsize an enterprise.
Here are some reminders of what never say to customers, no matter how well you think you know them:
1. Can I offer you a lift in my new Porsche?
You may want your customers to believe you are the best at your job and you are very successful. However, you do not want them to start thinking that they’re overpaying to support your luxurious lifestyle. If the customer isn’t driving an expensive car, he wouldn’t want to know that you do. Your customer may imagine that perhaps the reason you could afford such a pricey car is that you are overcharging him for your services.
2. Your current vendor or supplier is horrible.
Never speak ill of the competition regardless what you think or know about the company since you will not pan out well. It could appear like sour grapes.
3. No, you don’t want that, what you want is this.
Always provide customers what they want. Regardless what they state, people typically believe what they want is right. Stating that they are wrong might just anger them and make them take their business to someone else who will give them exactly what they want. You should always propose more choices for them to consider, however, you may want to present it casually. Eventually, it is the customer’s decision and you could live with the outcome if they can.
4. Did I ever tell you about my insane, inebriated weekend in Las Vegas?
There is bonding and then there is sharing too much information (TMI). Of course, the customer may laugh heartily at your story but then he will question your professionalism and discretion. Even if you have a quasi-social relationship with your customer, do not chat up too personal too soon. It is okay to ask about family or vacation, but do not burrow too deeply. And do not talk about sex, politics, or religion.
5. I heard your colleague is filing a divorce.
Do not gossip. Ever. This reveals an absence of discretion and if you talk easily about another individual, a customer may presume that you likewise discuss about him. If you need to talk about people that you both are acquainted, look for something affirmative to say. You will appear as professional, friendly, and upbeat – someone that people wish to be around.
The golden rule is actually very simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or plainly: Keep your mouth shut and a smile on your face.